One of the most famous figures of the Cornér family was Catherine Cornaro: born on November 25th, 1454 in Venice, daughter of Marco Cornaro and Fiorenza Crispo, she belonged to one of the most important families of the Serenissima. In July of 1468, at 14 years old, she married by proxy James II Lusignano, king of Cyprus and Armenia. The king died in 1473, leaving Catherine the control of the Eastern Mediterranean.
After the umpteenth conspiracy schemed by Catalan noblemen against the queen, in 1488 Catherine Cornaro was forced to abdicate in favour of the Republic of Venice, which welcomed her with a triumphal party on June 6th, 1489. She entered the city aboard the famous Bucintoro, the state galea of the doge. On that occasion, the doge Agostino Barbarigo named Catherine Cornaro Lady of Asolo and Castelfranco and preserved for her the title of queen.
During her “reign”, the queen surrounded herself with various artists, among them Giorgione and Pietro Bembo. She died on July 10th, 1510 in Venice.